Alcatel-Lucent Expands SDN and PoE Capabilities

New OmniSwitch 6860 brings improved OpenFlow support and enhanced Power over Ethernet to 60 Watts.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Apr 1, 2014
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LAS VEGAS. Alcatel-Lucent is growing its SDN portfolio with a series of announcements made here at the Interop conference. The new products include wired switching gear as well as a network management system.

The new OmniSwitch 6860 is available in both 24 and 48 port models and includes both security and Power
over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities.

Joseph Raccuglia, director, Product Solutions Marketing at Alcatel-Lucent, told Enterprise Networking Planet that Alcatel-Lucent intends to position this new switch for new accounts where Alcatel-Lucent currently positions the OmniSwitch 6850E, which will remain in the portfolio for the near future to support existing rollouts.

With the OmniSwitch 6860, Alcatel-Lucent is also including an option for enhanced PoE of up to 60 Watts. The current IEEE 802.3at-2009 standard for PoE Plus only goes up to 25.5 Watts of power per port.

"While not fully standardized, several vendors are building devices that require more than the 802.11at PoE specifications, and we are supporting these with higher power availability on up to 4 of the PoE ports on the OS6860E models," Raccuglia said. "Other switch vendors are also doing this."

Alcatel-Lucent is also integrating Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) capabilities on the switch, though it's not quite a full firewall in its own right. DPI technology is typically deployed for network firewall capabilities.

alu 6860

"While DPI does give us firewall-like capabilities to allow/deny specific flows, it does not have the extensive packet filtering, DDOS and other capabilities inherent in modern firewall and IDS/IPS systems and is not meant as a replacement," Raccuglia said. "The technology is to, as close to the ingress as possible, provide traffic prioritization to ensure key business applications are delivered with the highest quality to employees and customers."

From an SDN perspective, the OmniSwitch 6860 supports OpenFlow 1.3 and can be integrated with the open-source OpenStack cloud platform.

Alcatel-Lucent is also announcing its new OmniVista 2500 network management platform, which is software that can be loaded on a physical or virtual server. The OmniVista 2500 provides centralized network analytics for wired and wireless infrastructure. Raccuglia said that the plan is to integrate an OpenStack Neutron cloud plug-in with the OmniVista 2500 platform in future releases.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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